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I JUST WANT TO BE HER

[00:00:04]

["Jen Samp Moderator Pool Reporter - Bridget Spencer from Fox 7 Dr. John Abikhaled, Travis County Medical Society President Coleen Backus, Dell Seton Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer Dr. Elizabeth Douglass, Dell Medical School Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Brian Metzger, St. David’s Medical Center Medical Director of Infectious Diseases Dr. Ghassan Salman, Baylor Scott & White Associate Regional Chief Medical Officer "]

GOOD MORNING.

AND THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

I'M JEN SAMP, YOUR MODERATOR INTERPRETERS ARE AVAILABLE ON ATX AND THREE, OUR POOL, OUR APPROVAL REPORTER IS RACHEL WITH FOX SEVEN AND OUR POOL PHOTOGRAPHER IS WITH THE CITY WITH ATX.

THEN LATER TONIGHT, WE WILL BE PUTTING OUT CANDLES TO RECOGNIZE AND HONOR THOSE.

WE HAVE LOST IN TRAVIS COUNTY.

AS OF LAST NIGHT, WE HAVE LOST 449 PEOPLE, 449 LOVED ONES.

AND WHILE WE PUT OUT THESE CANDLES, AS A HONOR TO THEM, WE WANT TO LET THE COMMUNITY KNOW THAT THE WORK IS NOT OVER JOINING US TODAY ARE HEALTH PROFESSIONALS WHO GAVE UP THEIR TIME WHEN THEY WOULD USUALLY BE DOING ROUNDS, DOING CLINICALS, CHECKUPS VISITS WITH PATIENTS.

AND THEY'RE HERE TODAY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THIS MESSAGE IS THAT IMPORTANT.

AND THEY'RE HERE TODAY TO ADDRESS FATIGUE WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY AND REMIND OURSELVES THAT WE ARE PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE OUTCOME OF THE HEALTH OF OUR COMMUNITY.

AS A WHOLE.

I WILL NOW INTRODUCE DR.

JOHN COLLIN WITH TRAVIS COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY.

HELLO, MY NAME IS DR.

JOHN ABBY KHALID I'M SURGEON, AND I'M THE PRESIDENT OF OUR LOCAL COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY.

I'D LIKE TO THANK THE MEMBERS OF THE PRESS FOR, UH, INVITING US TO, UH, DISCUSS, UH, THE STATUS OF THE COVID PANDEMIC WITH YOU TODAY.

AND I'D LIKE TO ESPECIALLY THING THE, UH, CENTRAL TEXANS THAT HAVE SACRIFICED SO MUCH AND WORKED SO HARD TO HELP US CONTROL THIS PANDEMIC.

UH, THINGS GOT PRETTY DANGEROUS IN JULY AND AUGUST WHEN OUR NUMBERS SPIKED AND OUR HOSPITALS WERE VERY FULL WITH SICK PATIENTS, BUT PEOPLE CAME TOGETHER AND STARTED DOING THE SIMPLE THINGS THAT WE ALL NEED TO DO WEARING MASKS, WASHING OUR HANDS, KEEPING DISTANCE FROM OTHER PEOPLE.

AND WE FLATTENED THE CURVE AND WE CONTROLLED OUR NUMBERS.

AND, UH, WE CONTINUED HAVING THE ABILITY TO TAKE CARE OF EVERYBODY THAT NEEDED TO BE TAKEN CARE OF.

AS A SURGEON, I SPENT MOST OF MY ADULT LIFE WEARING A MASK AND WASHING MY HANDS FREQUENTLY.

IT'S WHAT WE DO IN SURGERY.

UH, IT'S SOMETHING THAT'S SO AUTOMATIC THAT MYSELF AND THE NURSES AND THE TECHNICIANS THAT I WORK WITH, WE DO IT AUTOMATICALLY.

WE DON'T THINK ABOUT IT.

WE DO IT TO PROTECT OUR PATIENTS FROM INFECTION, AND WE DO IT TO PROTECT OURSELVES FROM GETTING INFECTED.

AND THIS IS A TIME WHERE WE ALL NEED TO DO THAT EXACT SAME THING, WEAR MASKS AND WASH OUR HANDS.

IT'S SOMETHING WE CAN DO FOR A WHILE.

THE PANDEMIC WILL END AND EVENTUALLY WE'LL GET BACK TO LIFE.

AS WE KNOW IT, LASTLY, HEART DISEASE THAT WE GET OUR FLU SHOTS THAT WE GO IN FOR ROUTINE SCREENING EXAMS TO DETECT CANCERS BY GETTING OUR MAMMOGRAMS AND COLONOSCOPIES.

THIS ISN'T AN EITHER OR SITUATION WE CAN TAKE CARE OF COVID WE CAN TAKE CARE OF THE MEDICAL CONDITIONS.

IT'LL BE MUCH EASIER IF THE HOSPITALS ARE NOT FULL WITH PATIENTS SICK WITH COVID AND WE CAN TAKE CARE OF ALL THE MEDICAL CONDITIONS THAT NEED TO BE TREATED.

THANK YOU.

GOOD MORNING.

MY NAME IS COLLEEN BACCHUS.

I'M WITH THE ASCENSION FAMILY.

I'M THE CHIEF NURSING OFFICER AT DELL SETON MEDICAL CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS.

I WOULD JUST LIKE TO TAKE A MOMENT, UH, TO THANK OUR COMMUNITY, UH, FOR THE PREVENTATIVE MEASURES THAT THEY'VE ALL DONE THUS FAR ON THESE PAST EIGHT MONTHS.

UM, WE HAVE SEEN AN INCREDIBLE STRENGTH AND RESILIENCE WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY, UM, AND IT HAS NOT GONE UNNOTICED, UM, THIS

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TIME, BUT, UM, OUR TEAMS HAVE SPENT REALLY TAKING CARE OF PEOPLE.

UM, WE HAVE, UM, I KNOW THAT IN, IN, UH, JULY AND AUGUST, WE SAW A SPIKE IN BOTH CASES AND HOSPITALIZATIONS.

UM, THIS COMMUNITY WASN'T ABLE TO FLATTEN THE CURVE.

UM, BUT I WORK ISN'T DONE YET.

WE STILL NEED TO BE EXTREMELY VIGILANT.

I NEED TO WEAR MASKS.

WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO WHEN WE CAN, AND WE CERTAINLY NEED TO AVOID LARGE GATHERINGS.

I KNOW THAT WE HAVE THE POWER TO CONTINUE, UM, TO DEEP, BUT IT TAKES A COLLECTIVE EFFORT AND IT TAKES US ALL WORKING TOGETHER.

I KNOW THESE TACTICS, AREN'T ALWAYS EASY, BUT THEY'RE THE RIGHT THING TO DO FOR THE HEALTH OF OUR COMMUNITY.

THANK YOU.

MY NAME IS DR.

ELIZABETH DOUGLAS.

I'M AN INFECTIOUS DISEASE DOCTOR WITH THE UT DELL MEDICAL .

I FIRST WANT TO THANK THE AUSTINITES FOR EVERYTHING REALLY.

IT'S BEEN SUCH A LONG HAUL, BUT WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO IMPROVE THE CONDITION WITH COVID.

AND WE'RE HERE TO TALK TO YOU.

UM, JUST TO SAY, I KNOW THIS HAS BEEN A LONG HAUL AND IT'S VERY TIRING, BUT IT'S IMPORTANT TO CONTINUE THE PRINCIPLES CONTINUE THE MEASURES THAT WE HAVE DONE TO DECREASE THIS SHIN IN OUR COMMUNITY.

IT'S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER, TO CONTINUE TO WEAR PASS.

AND AS THE HOLIDAYS COME TO REALLY TRY TO LIMIT GATHERINGS OF MORE THAN 10 PEOPLE.

THIS IS REALLY ESSENTIAL.

WE'RE VERY TIRED AND PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO GATHER AND HOSPITALS SAFE.

OUR DOCTOR'S OFFICES ARE SAFE.

IT'S IMPORTANT.

AS HE SAID, TO GET THE FLU VACCINE AND MAINTAIN YOURSELF HEALTHY.

UM, THIS IS A SITUATION WHERE THE COMMUNITY EFFORT IS THE ONE THAT IS IN CHARGE OF MAKING.

COVID NOT REALLY GET US ALL SICK AGAIN AS WE WERE IN, IN EARLIER MONTHS OF THE YEAR.

SO I, AGAIN, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR EFFORTS AND PLEASE, UH, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF DURING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, UH, WHEN CAT , UH BUT HE MET HIM IN .

UM, UM, CPO IN CENTRAL TEXAS.

HE OUGHTA BE IN A HALLOWEEN UM, WHICH I COULD ASK.

YES.

HI, MY NAME IS BRIAN METZGER.

I'M A PART OF AUSTIN INFECTIOUS DISEASE CONSULTANTS.

I AM, UH, WITH ST.

DAVID'S HEALTHCARE AS A MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF INFECTIOUS TO SEASONS ST.

DAVID'S MEDICAL CENTER.

UM, I'M HERE TO SPEAK TO YOU TODAY ON THIS VERY WINDY MORNING, UM, TO TELL YOU, YOU KNOW, FIRST OF ALL, YOU'RE DOING GREAT AUSTIN.

WE'RE KEEPING THAT HOSPITALIZATION FLATTEN THE CURVE TO THIS POINT.

UM, BUT THERE ARE SOME CRACKS, UH, IN OUR ABILITY TO CONTROL THE PANDEMIC HERE LOCALLY.

UH, JUST IN THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, WE'VE SEEN, UH, CASES

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AND HOSPITALIZATIONS RISE FROM, UH, WHERE THEY WERE JUST A FEW WEEKS AGO AND THAT'S CONCERNING, UH, KNOWING THAT WE ARE GOING INTO WHAT'S ACTUALLY, UH, CORONAVIRUS SEASON.

SO UNLIKE THE SUMMER, UH, THE FALL AND WINTER COULD BE A PERIOD.

UM, UH, I THINK EVERYONE'S DOING THEIR BEST, BUT I THINK, UM, IN ORDER TO KEEP OUR HOSPITALS, UH, FUNCTIONING APPROPRIATELY AND TO, UH, LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF, UH, CASES AND HOSPITALIZATIONS, AND THAT'S THE COMMUNITY, THE THREE ABUSE, WHICH ARE WATCHING YOUR DISTANCE, WASHING YOUR HANDS AND, UH, MOST IMPORTANTLY WEARING A MASK.

UM, SO WITH THAT, UM, I JUST WANT TO TELL EVERYONE TO, TO, TO STAY STRONG AND KEEP UPDATING, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

UM, ESPECIALLY IN THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, I KNOW IT'S GOING TO BE DIFFICULT IN ORDER TO SPEND THE HOLIDAYS MUCH LIKE WE HAVE IN THE PAST, BUT, UM, IN ORDER TO CELEBRATE MANY MORE HOLIDAYS IN THE FUTURE, UM, IT'S BEST TO SIT THIS ONE OUT FOR YOUR HEALTH AND HEALTH OF YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND OUR COMMUNITY.

THANK YOU.

SO ASSOCIATE CMO FOR LAKEWAY MEDICAL CENTER AND AUSTIN MEDICAL CENTER.

I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR INVITING US TO BE A PART OF THIS FORUM.

OKAY.

UH, WE HAVE A SYMBILITY.

HE GOT VERY POWERFUL MESSAGE TODAY THAT THE IMPACT OF COVID ON OUR COMMUNITY OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS WILL DEPEND ON ALL OF US.

WORKING TOGETHER WILL DEPEND ON THE COMMUNITY MEMBERS ON AUSTIN, PUBLIC HEALTH AUTHORITY, AND THE ALL THE MEDICAL CENTERS IN AUSTIN AND CENTRAL TEXAS.

WE CAN PREVENT A SECOND SEARCH OF COVID.

WHAT WE ARE SIMPLY ASKING EVERYONE IS TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU TAKE YOUR FLU SHOT TO AVOID LARGE GATHERING, IDEALLY AVOID NON-FAMILY GATHERING, CONTINUE TO WEAR YOUR MASK, WASH YOUR HANDS AND WATCH YOUR DISTANCES.

A FEW MONTHS AGO, WHEN THE COVID STARTED, WE ALL HAD ANXIETY ABOUT HOW THE IMPACT IS GOING TO BE ON ALL OF US ON OUR FAMILY.

I HAD FAMILY MEMBERS WITH DIFFICULT AND DIFFERENT MEDICAL PROBLEMS WHO ASKED ME, HEY, JASON, ARE YOU GOING TO GO TO WORK? WHEN YOUR PHYSICIANS SHOW UP TO WORK, ARE YOUR NURSES ARE GOING TO COME TO WORK.

I WANT TO REASSURE YOU AND RUSH YOUR OLD CENTRAL TEXAS AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY COMMUNITY MEMBERS THAT OUR ORGANIZATION, BAYLOR SCOTT AND WHITE HEALTH HAVE INVESTED SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF FUNDS AND RESOURCES AND KEEPING OUR PHYSICIANS, OUR NURSES, OUR HOSPITALS, AND OUR CLINIC SAFE FOR YOU TO COME.

YOU NEED US.

WE INVESTED IN IT, EQUIPMENTS AND RESOURCES.

WE DEVELOP POLICIES.

WE IMPROVE THESE POLICIES OVER THE PAST EIGHT MONTHS, AND WE HAVE KEPT OUR CONVERSION RATE WITHIN OUR MEDICAL CENTER TO LESS THAN 1%, WHICH MEANS IF ONE OF OUR STAFF MEMBER, PHYSICIAN, OR NURSE INTERACTED WITH A COVID PATIENT INSIDE THE HOSPITAL, THE RISK OF GETTING COVID IS LESS THAN 1%.

IF THE 0.76% THAT IS OF CONTACTING, UH, OR CONVERTING TO POSITIVE COVID IN THE COMMUNITY IS 3.6% THAT TELLS YOU HOW MUCH THE HOSPITALS AND THE CLINIC AT BAYLOR, SCOTT AND WHITE HAVE BEEN SAFE AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE SAFE TO SERVE YOU WHEN YOU NEED US COVID IS A SIGNIFICANT PROBLEMS, BUT YOU ALSO NEED TO REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE MULTIPLE OTHER MEDICAL PROBLEMS THAT OUR PATIENTS AND YOU WILL LEAD US.

HOPEFULLY YOU WILL NEVER NEED US, BUT WHEN YOU DO WHAT WANTS YOU TO KNOW THAT WE DID MANY THINGS TO KEEP OUR PHYSICIANS, OUR STAFF SAFE, AND WE ARE VERY PROUD OF THEIR SACRIFICES.

WE ARE VERY PROUD OF THE DECISIONS THAT THEY MADE THE COMMITMENT TO TAKE CARE OF PATIENTS, AND WE'LL CONTINUE TO DO THAT.

SO THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.

THANK YOU FOR DOING WHAT YOU'RE DOING, AND PLEASE KEEP YOUR MASK ON, WASH YOUR HANDS AND WATCH YOUR DISTANCE.

THANK YOU.

WE'RE JUST SPENCER WITH FOX SEVEN.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR HAVING US AND THANKS FOR BEING HERE THIS MORNING.

UM, SO THE FIRST QUESTION WE HAVE IS FROM

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US SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE THIS IS THE HOLIDAY SEASON, WHICH IS APPROACHING A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE A LOT OF FATIGUE AND CHRONIC FATIGUE.

THEY WANT TO SEE THEIR MOM AND DAD AGAIN, BUT, UM, OF COURSE WE'RE BEING TOLD, NOT LET THE GUARD DOWN.

SO AS HEALTH PROFESSIONALS ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT, I'VE HEARD THE TERM 20 MINUTES CAUSE WE DON'T HAVE THE FLU COMING UP AND THEN COVID.

SO WHAT KIND OF CONCERN IS THERE FOR THAT? AND THAT MIGHT BE A QUESTION FOR YOUR DOCTOR YES, YES.

WE ARE.

UM, CONCERNED ABOUT THE TWIN DEMIC, WHICH IS, UH, UH, AN EPIDEMIC OR RISE IN COVID-19 CASES, ALONG WITH, UH, INFLUENZA CASES.

UH, THAT WOULD BE VERY CONCERNING IN A NORMAL WINTER SEASON.

UH, THE HOSPITALS, UH, REACH NEAR CAPACITY LEVELS JUST WITH DEALING WITH INFLUENZA CASES AND THE INFLUX OF RESPIRATORY VIRAL DISEASES.

AND IF YOU THROW COVID-19 ON TOP OF THAT, IT IS DEFINITELY A CONCERNING SITUATION.

SO THE BEST WAY TO COMBAT THAT, UM, IS GOING TO BE TO GET YOUR FLU VACCINATIONS, UM, ALONG WITH CONTINUING THOSE THREE W'S THAT WE TALKED ABOUT, UH, THE SAME THINGS THAT CAN PREVENT, UH, UH, COVID-19 TRANSMISSION ALSO CAN PREVENT INFLUENZA TRANSMISSION.

AND THERE ARE SOME ENCOURAGING SIGNS IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE THAT, UH, YOU KNOW, THE INFLUENZA CASES MAY NOT BE QUITE AS LARGE, UH, UH, NUMBERS AS WE'VE HAD, UH, IN THE PAST.

BUT, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE TO PREPARE FOR THE WORST AND HOPE FOR THE BEST, AND, UH, WE STILL NEED TO GET OUR FLU VACCINATIONS AND WE STILL NEED TO, UM, WATCH OUR DISTANCE, WASH OUR HANDS AND WEAR A MASK.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM CHELSEA MARINO YESTERDAY DURING THE WEEKLY AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH PRESS CONFERENCE, THERE WAS A MENTION OF EXPANDING CAPACITY WITHIN HOSPITALS TO ACCOMMODATE COVID-19 PATIENTS.

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL AND WHAT SHOULD THOSE LISTENING AT HOME BE AWARE OF WITH REGARD TO THIS OH, SORRY.

I'LL BE A LITTLE LOUDER.

I'M SORRY.

I KNOW IT'S A LOT OUT HERE.

SO YESTERDAY DURING THE WEEKLY AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH PRESS CONFERENCE, IT WAS MENTIONED OF EXPANDING CAPACITY WITHIN HOSPITALS TO ACCOMMODATE MORE COVID-19 PATIENTS.

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL AND WHAT SHOULD THOSE LISTENING AT HOME BE AWARE OF IN REGARDS TO THIS? WELL, UM, THAT'S A VERY QUESTION.

AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE'VE LEARNED, THERE'S BEEN SO MUCH COLLABORATION AND KNOWLEDGE AND GREAT COORDINATION WITH AN ALL THE HOSPITALS SYSTEMS. SO I THINK, UH, WE CAN SAY, I CAN SAY WITH CONFIDENCE, NOT TO PANIC, THESE HOSPITAL SYSTEMS ARE READY TO EXPAND AS NEEDED.

THEY HAVE AMAZING COORDINATING APPROACHES THAT WE SEE DEPENDING ON THE DAILY ADMISSIONS AND, UM, SITUATION IN THE HOSPITAL.

SO I DON'T THINK THAT THE PUBLIC SHOULD BE SO CONCERNED DOING THE BEST YOU CAN AND KEEP YOUR DISTANCE OR YOUR MASS AND LIMIT LARGE GATHERINGS.

BUT I DO BELIEVE THAT THE HOSPITAL SYSTEMS WILL BE ABLE TO, YOU KNOW, TO INCREASE AS THE CASES INCREASE OR RESPONDING TO TEXTS AND PUT THE AUSTIN MENTIONED CENTER, BE UTILIZED FOR PATIENTS FROM OTHER CITIES .

SO WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING AT IF THERE IS OPPORTUNITY TO HELP OTHER INDIVIDUALS IN OTHER CITIES.

UM, WE CERTAINLY, UM, ARE READY TO ASSIST, UM, WITH OUR, UH, IF PATIENTS CAN PICK THAT SECOND PART OF THE QUESTION THOUGH.

IF IT NEEDED TO GET TO THAT, I DON'T SEE WHY A COULDN'T, I, I, I'M NOT, I'M NOT PRIVY TO ALL THE PLANS RIGHT NOW, BUT I CERTAINLY KNOW THAT WE'RE OPEN TO LOOKING AT HOW WE CAN DO THAT, FOR SURE.

AND TO TAG ONTO ON THE PREVIOUS QUESTION, WE ARE CONSTANTLY LOOKING AT, UM, UH, WHERE OUR VOLUMES ARE AND PARTNERING WITH OUR OTHER HOSPITALS, BOTH WITHIN OUR NETWORKS AND WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE,

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UM, THE ADEQUATE BEDS FOR THE PATIENTS AT ALL TIMES.

YES.

IS IT, I THINK WE HAVE A SECOND QUESTION FROM CHELSEA MARINO, WE LEARNED ABOUT ST.

DAVID'S HEALTH CARE SENDING AS MANY AS 40 SUPPORT PERSONNEL TO EL PASO, THEIR HOSPITAL SYSTEMS, SEVERE FIGHT AGAINST COVID RIGHT NOW.

ARE THERE ANY, OR ANY OTHER HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS HERE IN CENTRAL TEXAS, SENDING PEOPLE OVER TO EL PASO TO HELP THEM, IF SO, HOW MANY PEOPLE AND HOW OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM SYSTEMS HERE FILLING THAT GAP? .

SO WITH ASCENSION, WE HAVE SENT PEOPLE ON FROM OUR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT.

UM, WE HAVE NOT SENT PER SE HEALTHCARE WORKERS AT THIS POINT.

UM, I THINK, UH, TO YOUR, TO THE QUESTION, IT'S ALWAYS A BALANCE LIKE, UM, WE SENT, UH, HEALTHCARE WORKERS, UH, TO SOME OF OUR, UM, UH, FACILITIES UP IN THE NORTH, UM, DURING THE TIMES THAT THEY HAD SURGES, BUT IT'S ALWAYS A BALANCE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE CAN HELP, UM, PLACES A NEED, BUT STILL MAKE SURE THAT WE ALWAYS HAVE ENOUGH HEALTHCARE PEOPLE HERE FOR, FOR WHATEVER MAY COME OUR WAY.

THANK YOU.

I THINK THIS IS OUR LAST QUESTION HERE FROM A BIG CROSS.

WE'VE SEEN A SIGNIFICANT DROP IN PROJECTIONS FOR HOSPITALIZATIONS IN AUSTIN AND THE AUSTIN AREA THROUGH NOVEMBER, IT'S GONE FROM 700 PLUS TO BEING FLAT.

WHAT FACTORS DO YOU THINK CONTRIBUTED TO THIS? ACTUALLY, THAT'S A VERY NICE AND GOOD OBSERVATION ABOUT THE NUMBER OF ADMISSIONS THAT WE HAD DURING THE FIRST SURGE AND THE NUMBER OF ADMISSIONS WE'RE HAVING RIGHT NOW.

I CAN TELL YOU, AT LEAST WITHIN OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, I'M SURE THE OTHER HEALTHCARE SYSTEM HAVE THE SAME EXPERIENCE IS THAT OUR PHYSICIANS, OUR NURSES, UM, UM, MORE AWARE AND HAVE EXPERIENCE OF HOW TO TAKE CARE OF OUR PATIENTS.

THERE ARE TREATMENTS THAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW THAT WE DID NOT HAVE AT THAT TIME.

AND I TRULY BELIEVE THAT THE EFFORTS AT THE COMMUNITY LEVEL AND WHAT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH AUTHORITY DECISION DID HELP US TO FLATTEN THE CURVE.

AND I HOPE THAT CONTINUES TO BE, I CAN TELL YOU WHAT IS WITHIN BAYLOR SCOTT AND WHITE, WE STILL HAVE GOOD CAPACITY TO TAKE CARE OF BOTH PATIENTS WHO HAVE COVID AND NON COVID.

WE ARE PART OF A WEEKLY MEETING WITH OTHER HEALTHCARE SYSTEM THAT WE WORK COLLABORATIVELY WITH OTHER HEALTHCARE SYSTEM TO SUPPORT EACH OTHER.

AND I JUST HAD ONE MORE QUESTION FOR MYSELF.

UM, YOU KNOW, BEING PHYSICIANS WORKING ON THE FRONT LINES, YOU YOU'VE SEEN WHAT COVID PATIENTS, WE KNOW WHAT THEY GO THROUGH.

DO YOU KNOW WHY IT AFFECTS CERTAIN PEOPLE SO DIFFERENTLY? SOME PEOPLE WILL HAVE A MILD CASE AND PEOPLE WILL HAVE, WILL BE ON A VENTILATOR.

WHY IS THAT? YEAH, THAT'S A VERY GOOD QUESTION.

AND TO BE HONEST, WE'RE STILL LEARNING A LOT ABOUT THAT.

UM, WE CAN TELL, UM, YOU KNOW, THAT THERE ARE CERTAINLY LINKS TO CERTAIN HEALTH CONDITIONS, CERTAIN HIGH-RISK HEALTH CONDITIONS, UM, DIABETES AND OBESITY, ESPECIALLY, AND ESPECIALLY UNCONTROLLED DIABETES.

UH, WE'VE SEEN A LOT OF, UM, SEVERE COVID-19 DISEASE, UH, IN THOSE PERSONS AND THOSE PATIENTS.

UM, BUT AS FAR AS GETTING DOWN TO A MOLECULAR LEVEL OF WHAT, WHAT STRIPE ORIGIN ATTIC LEVEL IS, IS THERE SOMETHING THAT'S DRIVING THIS THAT'S STILL BEING STUDIED? UM, THERE WAS SOME SPECULATION THAT SINCE THE VIRUS BINDS TO THE ACE TWO RECEPTOR, UH, THAT, THAT LINE OUR LUNG CELLS AND OTHER ORGANS THAT, UH, UH, POSSIBLY PAGE PATIENTS WITH HYPERTENSION OR HAVE HIGH EXPRESSION OF THE ACE TWO RECEPTOR THAT, THAT MIGHT GIVE THE VIRUS MORE VIRUS, A CHANCE TO, UM, INVADE YOUR BODY, UH, AND LEADS TO SEVERE INFECTION THOUGH.

YOU KNOW, IT'S STILL PRETTY SPECULATIVE AT THIS POINT.

UM, SO THEY'RE STILL WORKING ON A LOT OF THOSE QUESTIONS.

THANK YOU, RIGHT? AND THAT CONCLUDES OUR PRESS CONFERENCE, UM, RIGHT WHERE WE'RE STANDING.

WE WILL BE PUTTING OUT CANDLES TO REMEMBER THOSE.

WE HAVE LOST IN TRAVIS COUNTY.

WE WILL HAVE, AS OF LAST NIGHT, IT WAS 449, UH, DEATHS.

AND SO WE WILL HAVE 449 CANDLES TODAY OR TONIGHT.

UH, WE'LL START LIGHTING THOSE CANDLES AT 5:00 PM TONIGHT.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US AND PLEASE COMMUNITY SAFETY STARTS WITH PERSONAL SAFETY AND PERSONAL HEALTH.

THANK YOU.

* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Speech-to-Text.